Thursday, 22 May 2014

Peppers on the Vertical Farm

Peppers have started to fruit on the vertical farm

Our first aquaponic Chillies and Peppers have started to appear on the vertical farm.  Aquaponics is normally  only used for producing leafy green crops (lettuce, herbs etc) because they only require nitrogen which is converted from the fish waste. This means that most aquaponic systems are low in the other elements required by plants (phosphorus, potassium, magnesium etc). in a traditional hydroponics systems these are mixed in the fertiliser however this is not the case in aquaponics and they must be added separately in order to produce peppers or a crop with fruiting bodies. To grow the peppers and chillies we have had to add phosphate and potassium to our system in an organic way so not to upset the fish.  

Phosphate: Phosphate can simply be added buy purchasing Phosphate rocks from your local garden centre and sprinkling them into your growing medium however you must be careful as you could induce algae to start growing in your tank. 

Potassium: Potassium can be added by burying banana peels in your growing medium and as they decompose they will release potassium in to your system to be absorbed by your plants. the breakdown can be speeded up by introducing worms to your growing medium as many people do.

Aquaponic system growing (lettuce and Red cabbage) green leaf crops that require mostly nitrogen   

Aquaponic unit growing Peppers and Chillies 

Pepper growing on aquaponics unit

Aquaponic Chilli 

Ripping up a Banana peel and mixing it in to your growing medium is a good way of adding potassium 

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